University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Understanding and supporting children and young people with eating disorders

Burton, Madeleine ORCID: (2020) Understanding and supporting children and young people with eating disorders. Practice Nursing, 31 (10). pp. 412-419. ISSN 2052-2940

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Eating disorders can have devastating effects on individuals and families. Maddie Burton explains the crucial role practice nurses can play in identifying and supporting patients Children and young people's mental health conditions have continued to increase. The NHS Digital 2017 survey found that 1 in 8 children have a diagnosable mental health condition. During the current COVID-19 pandemic numbers are set to increase. Eating disorders make up a relatively small proportion of these statistics but have some of the most devastating effects on individuals and families. Anorexia nervosa, as discussed here, has the highest morbidity of any mental health condition. The issues are complex and a challenge to understand for both professionals and families, over typically a protracted period of illness. However, all work with children, young people and their families presents a ‘window of opportunity’ in being able to resolve issues within a developmental phase prior to the more concrete adult phase. The risk is highest for young people between the ages of 13 and 17 years. There are several theoretical models that aid understanding of how and why eating disorders emerge and are maintained. Practice nurses in primary care can have a crucial role in early identification and can be found to be less stigmatising than mental health professionals. Practice nurses can have an ongoing role in remaining involved with the young person and their family and as part of the wider specialist support system.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: understanding, suppporting, children, young people, eating disorders
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: Prof. Pub Router
Depositing User: Madeleine Burton
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2020 08:57
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2021 01:00

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